Banks as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards in 2012
|Born||May 15, 1959|
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|High school||West Philadelphia|
|NBA draft||1981 / Round: 2 / Pick: 28th overall|
|Selected by the San Antonio Spurs|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|1981–1985||San Antonio Spurs|
|1989–1990||La Crosse Catbirds|
|1990–1992||Maccabi Rishon Lezion|
|2009–2012||Washington Wizards (assistant)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||5,305 (11.3 ppg)|
|Assists||1,335 (2.9 apg)|
|Rebounds||2,430 (5.8 rpg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Eugene Lavon Banks (born May 15, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player. He is one of a handful of players to make high school All-America three times. He was named to the McDonald's American team in 1977 and was the very first McDonald's Classic MVP. He also played in the prestigious Dapper Dan Scholastic High School All-American Basketball Classic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and won MVP honors of that game. He scored a career high 53 points in his senior year at West Philadelphia high school and was voted the number one high school player of the year, along with Albert King.
College and NBA years
A 6'7" forward born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Banks starred at Duke University, where he received the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Rookie of the Year award in 1978. As a freshman starter at power forward, Banks played a strong role in Duke reaching the NCAA Finals, where they eventually lost to Joe Hall's Kentucky Wildcats. Banks was the sixth African American player in Duke's history. He also received team MVP honors three times. His Duke career is noteworthy in other regards as well. In 1981, during Mike Krzyzewski's first year in the home game against the Blue Devils' heated rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels, he hit the game-tying shot as time expired, sending the crowd into a massive frenzy. Duke went on to win in overtime, ushering in a new era in Blue Devils basketball. Banks also won the ACC scoring title in 1981, over such ACC/NCAA All-Americans as James Worthy (UNC) and Ralph Sampson (UVA). He was inducted into the prestigious Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Duke Hall of Honors in 1996. He was an NCAA two-time All-American during his tenure at Duke and finished in the top ten of almost every statistical category of Duke basketball. As of the start of the 2016-17 season, Bank's 53.9% career field goal percentage ranks 28th all-time for NBA players, less than one-thousandth of a percentage point behind Wilt Chamberlain.
Banks went on to play six seasons in the National Basketball Association with the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls. He averaged 11.3 points per game spanning over 468 games in his professional NBA career. His career high of 44 points was achieved against the Los Angeles Lakers in 1983. He recorded his first NBA triple-double with the Chicago Bulls.
Italian and Israeli leagues
In the 1988–89 season he played in Italy for Arimo Bologna. He went from Italy to continue his career as a member of the Maccabi Rishon Lezion basketball club in Israel. In 1993, he continued his play in Israel as a member of Hapoel Herzliya and took them to the Israeli Cup Championship game.
Between these stints, Banks played the 1989–90 season with the La Crosse Catbirds of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), averaging 15.3 points in 40 games. The Catbirds would go on to win the CBA title that year.
In 2009, Gene Banks became an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards. In 2012, Banks was reassigned from assistant coach with the Wizards to scout of the southern region of the eastern Atlantic Coast. He is credited with the development of such players as JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche and Kevin Seraphin.
Banks was inducted into the Duke Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2007, Banks returned to Israel and was announced and awarded by Maccabi Rishon LeZion to be the "best foreign player" to play with the club until 2007.
NBA career statistics
- Jacobs, Barry (November 1, 2007). Across the Line: Profiles in Basketball Courage : Tales of the First Black Players in the ACC and SEC. Lyons Press. pp. 73–. ISBN 9781599210421. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- 1990–91 CBA Official Guide and Register, page 250
- Wizards Assistant Coaches
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